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Port Moresby
December 7, 2019

Maritime Laws Merchant Shipping Act To Be Amended

The National Maritime Safety Authority held a three-day Stakeholder Consultation Forum onthe subject of changes to maritime legislation.

The forum was held with members ofthe shipping industry, ship owners and operators, agents, freight forwarders, marine pilots, and associated government agents.


The discussions were focused on a Consultation Draft ofthe Merchant Shipping Bell andthe introduction of new Pilotage Regulations.


The discussions held duringthe week were to ensure thatthe industry as well as stakeholder interests were discussed strategically and understood by all who would be affected bythe proposed new amendments.


The Commission ofInquiry intothe sinking ofthe Rabaul Queen outlined 34 recommendations. Most ofthe recommendations were to do with improvingthe organization and promoting ship safety within PNG to be implemented bythe National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA).


The Commission ofInquiry report also identiflied thatthe current legislation, The Merchant Shipping Act 1975, has not been amended in 38 years, and is in need of drastic improverment.


This is to ensure that best international standards for passenger, ship design, safety, stability, and safety management are contained inthe legislation.


To give effect tothe recommendations, a revised Merchant Shipping Bell 2013 has been drafted withthe assistance oftheInternational Maritime Organization’sIntegrated Technical Assistance Program.


The stakeholder’s discussions looked atthe 1975 Act andthe proposed new Bell with its new inclusions.


The NMSA has extended an invitation to interested stakeholders to view and comment onthe Bells which are accessible ontheir website.


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